Kolkata Style Chicken Biryani

Kolkata style chicken biryani with potato and eggs. This scrumptious biryani is mildly spiced and highly aromatic. Saffron, rose water, Kewra water, meetha attar and aromatic whole spices made this biryani extremely flavorful.

Fragrant rice, soft potatoes, eggs, juicy chicken pieces made this biryani superbly delicious. We are not going to the history of Kolkata chicken biryani. Let’s discuss only about taste and flavour. Your house will fill with lovely aroma while making this biryani. A pure bliss.

But now Editing the post with a brief history of this Kolkata style biryani. Thanks to my nephew Saumyajit Ray for this info. Now copy pasting from the write up of Saumyajit.

The Calcutta-style biryani has potatoes in it. History says that biryani came to Calcutta with Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh, when he shifted to the then capital of British India after being dethroned in Lucknow.

Wajid Ali Shah settled down in Metiabruz in eastern Calcutta on the banks of the Hooghly. If Maulana Abdul Haleem Sharar’s GUZESHTA LUCKNOW is to be believed, the former Nawab’s retainers started adding potatoes to his biryani since he could not afford so much mutton. This, despite his 100,000 rupees per month pension which he received from the British and blew up on dancing girls and the upkeep of animals in his fabled private too.

Now the big question. Calcuttans of that era had no idea of biryani before Wajid Ali Shah came and took up residence in Metiabruz and set up a “Chhota Lucknow” there. So why shouldn’t the Calcutta biryani be called Metiabruz biryani?

What do you think. Please share your thoughts in comment. I would love to hear from you.

If you don’t like chicken like me then enjoy the biryani with potato and eggs, let other family members enjoy soft juicy chicken with fragrant rice. I have used chicken leg pieces to make this biryani. You can also use curry cut chicken. Use big pieces of chicken. If you don’t like eggs then you can skip it.

If you don’t want to boil the potatoes then fry the potatoes till golden brown and cook with chicken. Process of making this biryani is lengthy but worth trying. You can prepare everything in advance and assemble and cook on simmer just before serving.

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For chicken

Chicken – 1/2 kg

Curd or yogurt – 1/2 cup

Ginger garlic paste – 1&1/2 tablespoon

Salt to taste

Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon

Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon

Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon

Oil – 2 teaspoon

Biryani masala – 1 teaspoon

Rose essence or rosewater – 1 teaspoon

Kewra water – 1 teaspoon

Lemon – half

Onion – 1 large, finely chopped

For rice

Long grain basmati rice – 2 cup

Green cardamom – 4

Cloves – 4

Cinnamon – 1 inch piece

Star anise – 1

Mace or javitri – 2 strands

Bay leaves – 2

Oil or ghee -2 teaspoon

Salt – 1 tablespoon or to taste

Lemon – half

Water as require

Saffron milk

Saffron – a pinch

Milk – 1/4 cup

Rose essence or Water – 1 teaspoon

Kewra water – 1 teaspoon

Meetha attar – 3 drop

For biryani

Oil – 1/2 cup

Ghee or clarified butter – 2 tablespoon

Biryani masala – 1 teaspoon

For potato

Potato – 3 large

Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Salt – 1 teaspoon

Egg – 3, hard boiled

For barista

Onion – 3 large, thinly sliced

Oil for frying


1. Wash the rice 4-5 times or till water runs out clear. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.

2. In a bowl mix curd or thick yogurt, salt, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, biryani masala, ginger garlic paste and 2 teaspoon oil. I used mustard oil but you can use any oil. Mix everything well.

3. Add cleaned and washed chicken pieces, rose essence or rose water, Kewra water and juice of half lemon. Mix everything well. Cover the bowl and keep aside for an hour. You can marinate the chicken overnight. Keep the marinated chicken in a covered bowl and keep in refrigerator overnight. Take out the chicken just before cooking.

4. In a bowl mix 1/4 cup warm milk and saffron. Let it soak for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes crush the saffron threads with your finger tips to mix well. Now add rose water or essence, Kewra water and 3 drops of meetha attar. Add only 3 drops not more than that. Cover and keep the bowl aside.

5. Now make a spice bag. In a piece of cheesecloth or muslin cloth or any thin cotton cloth place lightly crushed or broken 4 green cardamom, 4 cloves, a piece of cinnamon, 1 star anise, 2 strands of javitri or mace and 2 bay leaves. You can also add 1 black cardamom if you like, I didn’t. Tie the cloth tightly.

6. Boil sufficient water with 1 tablespoon Salt, 2 teaspoon ghee or oil and juice of half lemon. Taste the water. Water should be perfectly salty. 1 tablespoon is perfect but you can add little more if required.

7. Add drained rice and spice bag. Cook till rice becomes long. Rice should be 80 percent cooked so be careful and stir the rice gently to avoid breaking the rice. When rice becomes long immediately strain the water from the rice. Drain the water completely and spread the rice on a plate to cool down.

8. Wash the potatoes well. Prick the potatoes with a fork. Boil potatoes in a pressure cooker with 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon salt and water. Boil for 2 whistle. Let the pressure settle down on its own. Peel the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into half and keep aside.

9. Or if you don’t want to boil the potatoes then peel and fry with little salt and turmeric powder till golden brown. And cook with chicken.

10. Peel the hard boiled eggs. You can fry the eggs, I didn’t. If you are frying the eggs, don’t forget to make some slits on the eggs with a knife.

11. Heat oil in a pan. Fry thinly sliced onion till brown to make barista. When onion becomes brown remove from oil and place on a paper towel. Onion shouldn’t be burnt so be careful and keep stirring while frying.

12. Heat oil in a pan. You can use same pan and oil which we used to make barista. Fry the potatoes till golden brown and transfer on a plate.

13. Now add one finely chopped onion and fry till light golden brown. Add marinated chicken. And fry for 5 minutes. Chicken will release water. Cover and cook on simmer for 10 minutes. Stir and check in regular interval.

14. You can also cook potatoes and eggs with the chicken. I sometimes do so. Potatoes and eggs will absorb the flavour and taste of the gravy and taste better. Do as per your convenience.

15. After 10 minutes check the chicken. It will becomes tender, if not covered and cook for a few minutes more. When chicken becomes tender remove the cover and cook on high heat till gravy is about to dried up.

16. Let’s assemble the biryani. Place 3 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces potatoes with little oil gravy of chicken.

17. Above chicken and potatoes make a layer of rice. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon ghee, 1/2 teaspoon biryani masala and half saffron soaked milk. Spread barista or crisp fried onion all over the rice.

18. Now spread remaining chicken, potato and gravy over the rice. Spread rice over it. Again sprinkle one tablespoon ghee, 1/2 teaspoon biryani masala and remaining saffron soaked milk. Spread fried onions. And press the eggs over it.

19. We have to cover it properly to cook. You can use atta dough to seal the sides of the cover. But I have covered the pan with a piece of aluminum foil properly and place the lid over it. And placed a clove in the hole to secure the air inside.

20. You can also cover the pan with a plate and place a heavy vessel with hot water on the plate. Heat a tawa or skillet. Keep the heat on lowest. Place the assembled biryani pan on the tawa.

21. Cook on simmer for 25 minutes. Or until your biryani pan becomes too hot and you will unable to touch it.

22. Your Kolkata style chicken biryani is ready to serve. Fluff the rice gently. Serve hot with any raita.


1. I have made two layers but you can make three layers if you want.

2. Always use old basmati rice to make biryani.

3. I have used leg pieces to make this biryani. You can also use curry cut chicken pieces. Use big pieces of chicken.

4. You can skip eggs if you want.

Linking this recipe to Facebook gourmet group Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge. In this monthly group members are paired with different partners every month and two secret ingredients are given to each other. We have to use these ingredients in our recipe. This month Exotic biryani and pulao theme is suggested by Swaty Malik who blog at Food Trails. I recently bookmarked her healthy and delicious Badam gur phirni to try sometime. A perfect dish for festive season.

And this month my partner is Preeti Tandon Shridhar who blog at Cakes & Curries. Preeti is a very talented blogger. Do visit her space for many delicious recipes. I have to try her delicious Cowboy cookies soon. For this theme preeti gave me Kewra water and curd or yogurt. I used these ingredients to make this mouthwatering biryani. And I gave cranberries and quinoa to Preeti as secret ingredients. Preeti shared delicious Quinoa masala pulao using these ingredients.

If you tried my recipe, you can share your food pictures with me in the social network sites by using hashtag #batterupwithsujata. I would love to see your creations.

I would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and suggestions in comment.

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